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A sun with a smiling face looks up at clouds containing vignettes of a person looking at COPD medication and supplemental oxygen, a healthy breakfast, and exercising.

How to Manage a Good Life With COPD

Once diagnosed, after the denial, we accept our COPD and can learn how to live the good life despite having COPD. Some people name their COPD, and some won’t acknowledge it.

There are millions of people who have COPD and don't know what it is.

Find gratitude

The task at hand is realizing that your life will be turned upside down. Then fear creeps in when you are not able to catch your breath.

It will haunt you and cause much stress and anxiety. Some begin to feel depression setting in.

This could be your hardest fight. Finding gratitude helped me. I keep a daily gratitude journal to remind myself that life is far from over. There is no shame in reaching out for help.

Stop smoking

Remove nicotine from your life. Give it up by reminding yourself that your body does not need it and that every cigarette you smoke makes a tobacco company CEO rich.

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Find a smoking cessation program. Be active in the program.


Use the energy you have to exercise. Start small with sitting exercises and increase your repetitions slowly and steadily.

Using cans of soup or light weights is always a great way to build upper body muscles. Types of exercise include cardio, upper body, and breathing.

Ask your doctor for instructions on attending respiratory rehab. You can attend classes online from the comfort of your home.

Eat clean

A diet that is low in carbs and rich in vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and fiber works well. Following the food guide helps by suggesting foods that are readily available to you.

Make a note of any foods that make you bloated or breathless so you can avoid them in the future. Follow your doctor's orders or ask to see a specialist like a nutritionist or a dietician for support. Often a local lung health foundation will offer free resources.

Be mindful when taking medications

It is important that you pay attention when taking your medications. Ask your doctor if his staff can help you with any techniques or instructions for the meds prescribed.

Confirm any further questions with the pharmacist. This ensures you are comfortable with the delivery of each puffer.

Do not stop asking questions until you are satisfied with the answers. Be familiar with medication dosages.

Using oxygen

Oxygen is a drug, much like other medications that you take. It is important to confirm your numbers with your doctor.

I write mine down as soon as the doctor instructions. Using an oximeter, I monitor your 02 stats regularly. Too high or too low has its dangers, so I monitor mine often.

Avoid Infections

When you will be meeting people inside, be proactive and advocate for yourself. You have a vested interest in not being exposed to any of the recent viruses.

Anyone with a cold or flu should disclose it and let you decide if you are willing to risk it.

Learn techniques to:

  • Expel mucus
  • Catch your breath
  • Advocate for yourself
  • Learn to ask for help
  • Indulge in Self-care
  • Be active in a support group

What is on your list of managing a good life with COPD?

Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 7th, 2024, Barbara Moore passed away. Barbara’s advocacy efforts and writing continue to reach many. She will be deeply missed.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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